Thursday, May 04, 2006

Barkley Likes Blackjack - Shocker!

Now that the NFL Draft has come and gone, and there is no more need for analysis of the 40-time of some backup punter from Central Idaho Tech and Mel Kiper, Jr. has been locked back up in a Bristol basement, ESPN has resorted to moral preaching on gambling.

All of a sudden - poof! - Charles Barkley has a gambling problem and we should all hear about it and discuss it with the utmost concern. Granted, TNT ran with a converstaion with Barkley about gambling as well, but TNT pays Barkley. That's what he's supposed to do.

But, please, spare me Bob Ley's "hard-hitting" Outside the Lines expose on the perils of gambling simply because Barkley admits to digging casinos.

I'm not saying Barkley wouldn't be better off if he quit gambling altogether - of course he would - but my point is this: we're only discussing this because some airheads at TNT and (especially) ESPN got Barkley to talk about it after John Daly and his gambling issues arose in the news. They know Barkley is charismatic and brutally honest and that's all they care about. They know they can get some prime/controversial quotes on the subject. And now we're supposed to offer moral judgement on gambling and sudden concern for Barkley. Whatever.

Listen, I love me some Charles Barkley. He's hilarious and he's smart (and much smarter than Daly). It's possible he can have a vice without ending up in the gutter. Some people can have a few drinks everyday without it affecting their lives. Some people can have a few cigarettes without going through a pack or two a day. And possibly, Barkley can take some of that fat cash (that the normal person doesn't have) and spend it in a way he enjoys even if it might not be the smartest avenue for spending it.

All I'm saying is that don't get all weak in the knees for Barkley just because Trey Wingo puts on some makeup and a serious face and interviews Barkley like he's Mike Wallace interviewing a world leader on 60 Minutes. Give me a break. Until proven otherwise, Barkley and his gambling vice is a fluff story. A non-story. Like I said, Barkley is smart. If/when his gambling starts to really pinch his bank account, I'm willing to bet (pun intended) he'll wise up without hitting rock bottom.


Post a Comment

<< Home